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Hydrographic Office

Volume 467: debated on Tuesday 13 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effect of the recent decision to keep the UK Hydrographic Office at Taunton on the ongoing review of the Office's structure and ownership. (161927)

The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) is a trading fund within the Ministry of Defence. In February 2007, we announced that we would carry out a review of the structural and ownership options for UKHO. This is due to report at the end of the year.

As the review work matured and the options were defined in more detail, it became clear that the decision on UKHO's future status was independent from the decision on its future location. As a result we were able to take forward the site investment appraisal.

In order to end the uncertainty facing UKHO's staff, we sought to announce the results of this appraisal as quickly as possible. The decision to keep the UKHO in Taunton was taken on value for money grounds.